We are in the last week for you to provide input on Washington State’s proposed residential energy code—the public comment deadline will close on Friday, September 27. This is the last chance to influence the energy code before 2023, so support now is vital. Information about the proposed code changes and how you can engage can be found on the Shift Zero Roadmap to ZNE Code task force webpage.
Background on the Energy Code
Energy use in new buildings in Washington is governed by the energy code, which is revised every three years. The energy code is divided into two sections, residential and commercial, and we are currently updating the residential energy code, which affects new single-family homes, townhomes, and low-rise multifamily buildings (three floors and shorter).
Because advocates like you showed up in 2009 when SB 5854, “Efficiency First” was in the legislature, the energy code should become increasingly more efficient every revision cycle so that new buildings in 2031 are effectively zero carbon-ready (RCW 19.27A.160). In addition, Governor Inslee’s Executive Order 14-04 directs the State Building Code Council to go even faster in meeting this goal.
Because there are only four code cycles between now and 2031, it is essential that each update cycle maximize what can be done to make buildings more efficient. The proposed code will save approximately 19% in energy over the previous code—translating into real utility bill savings for residents who also benefit from living in a more comfortable and durable home.
More efficient buildings mean:
- Lower utility costs for residents and tenants: any added upfront costs compared to the previous code will quickly pay off in lower utility bills over the year
- Healthier and more comfortable homes and buildings with improved indoor air quality
- More responsible use of our existing clean energy resources, eliminating needs for new power generation as our population grows: this keeps utility rates low for everyone, not just those living in these newer homes
- Clean electricity currently needed for buildings is made available to replace fossil fuels used in vehicles and space heating
- Reduced energy use, helping us all meet our carbon reduction targets: using our energy more responsibly makes it easier to transition other energy needs to renewable resources
Show your support!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org by September 27 and let the State Building Code Council know that strong residential energy codes are critical to achieving our climate action goals. Thank you for all you do!